E30 318is Catalytic Convertor Damage

Hello,
I am new to this forum, but have been a BMWCAA member for over 12 years. Anyway, I was driving home last night in my e30 and I hit a fender (a car fender was laying in the road) and it ripped the Aluminum
cover off my Catalytic convertor. The motor is an M42 and the car is a 318is. My question is: Is it do any harm to run the car without the cover/shield on the cat? I am unclear as to what this thing does on the cat. Thanks for your help.
Ben
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Probably a heat shield. I remember when they first started using cats in the UK, there were a few cases of cars setting light to things like dry grass under the car.
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Thanks guys, I live in the City and I think I will be O.K. without it...280K miles on her and I hope for 500k more. Thanks for the reconfirm on my thoughts.
:-)
Ben
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

when you park in the long, dry, grass..
dont laugh, i understand there were some cars lost to fire through this.
the upper part shields the car body from extreme heat.. remember the interior of the cat runs *very* hot..
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wrote:

Some idiot parked over a large pile of leaves in my neighborhood a few years back - the car was a total loss from the resulting fire.
Tom K.
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There are heat shields wrapped around the CAT. You could have exposed some VERY hot exhaust components to the outside. If you are not leaking exhaust from the ripped section, then your main issue is heat. Do not park over tall grass until you get this fixed. If you are leaking exhaust, then you should get the CAT replaced asap.

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